My goal was to make something really nice from something really ugly. So I found this ugly, warped, nasty, treated 2X4X8 laying out by the barn. Then I started drawing up a plan...in my head. I started putting measurements down on paper to see if the 2X4 could provide the amount of wood I needed. I decided it would work and got my supplies together. I wanted a wall mounted holder for a wine bottle and two glasses. Then I thought why not add a space for a corkscrew and corks or bottle stoppers. Here is what I came up with. If you decide to try this project, be sure to have fun, be safe, and let me know how it comes out.
Step 1: What You Need to Complete This Project
Make sure you read your equipment manuals and use all safety gear that is recommended. For this project I used a jig saw, cordless drill, cordless driver, table saw, palm sander, oscillating sander, drill press, planer, jointer, and belt sander. Safety glasses, dust mask, push sticks, and gloves while handling the wood. There were a lot of splinters in this 2X4, just don't wear your gloves while operating power tools.
Remember I have many years of experience with these tools and the way I do things may not always be right but I do try to do it safely. I still have all my digits, and plan to keep it that way. Some of these cuts are dangerousespecially for a novice if not done properly. You might ask someone in the know to demonstrate how to do this before you try it. Always pay attention to where your fingers are when using a table saw.
You will need a really ugly 2X4, wood screws, wood glue, painters tape, food coloring, polyurethane, spray lacquer, and a heart shaped pattern. Heart Patterns are available all over the internet.You will have to print your pattern in several pieces and then tape them together. That is unless you have access to a large printer. I use several different types of software to make my patterns.
Step 2: Cutting Your 2X4
I measured and marked off two 36 inch pieces using my tape measure and speed square. I cut the 2X4 on my table saw using a crosscut sled. The sled made the 2X4 more manageable for me at the eight foot length. At this point I had three pieces of my 2X4. Much easier to work with now. You could also use a circular saw or even a hand saw for these cuts.
Step 3: Slicing the 2X4
Next we sliced the two 36 inch pieces. This is the part where you need the proper push sticks. You need to be careful slicing wood in this manner. I set my fence for 1/2 inch cuts, and my blade was raised to 2 inches. Considering the blade width this worked well because I plan to run each piece through my planer to equalize the thickness of the boards. The 2X4 is cut once at 2 inches, and then flipped lengthwise to cut again to give you 2 pieces. Then you slice the remaining board again the same way. When finished I had six pieces 36 inches long. These will form the heart shaped back. Don't toss that last piece of 2X4, even though it's ugly we need it later.
- Be sure to use proper push sticks
- You need pressure down and from the side
- And push slowly from the rear of the blade
- Pay attention
Step 4: Now Over to the Jointer
Here is where we give each of the six boards straight edges. This assures a proper joint for our glue up. Each board edge was ran through the jointer three times. The jointer is necessary if you want tight, clean fitting joints. I've seen folks do this with a hand plane, but I'm just not that good with hand tools.
Step 5: Time for Glue Up
Pay attention to the grain as you put these boards together. Adjust the boards for the best appearance. You want the front face to look the best. Knots and color changes in the wood add character in my opinion.
I spread glue on the edges of each board where they join. Then I clamped three boards together using pipe clamps. I only clamped three because that is nearly the width of my planer. No worries about the top and bottom side being super straight because I intend to plane them level. These were set aside to dry overnight.
Step 6: Now It's Time to Plane Our Boards
The next day both sets of three boards were run through the planer several times. This removes any glue and levels the surfaces. Then I glued the six boards together and clamped them with pipe clamps. At this point you want to be careful with your glue, I always wipe the surface with a damp rag. This makes for less hand sanding later. Once glued this was set aside to dry.
Step 7: Cutting the Heart Shape
The next day it was time to make the heart. I drew my pattern onto the six boards I had glued together. Then I cut out my heart shape using a jig saw. My bench space is limited so I sometimes use my table saw top for cutting. The table saw is unplugged when not in use. You could also cut this shape on a band saw if you have access to one.
Step 8: Next We Took Our Heart to the Oscilatting Sander
I always like to sand the edges when I'm done cutting. After the oscillating sander you can round the edge with either a router or a palm sander. I also give the edges some hand sanding with a fine grit sandpaper.
Step 9: Hand Sanding
This is where I hand sanded the face of the heart. You want a super smooth surface here. You can see what I meant about paying attention to the grain during glue up. This came out just the way I wanted it. Now we're ready for a finish.
Step 10: Staining the Heart
Staining was done before adding the other parts. Believe it or not, I used a mixture of blue and red food coloring to make my stain. It ended up a deep purple, which is what I was going for. Several coats were needed to get the color right. I gave a half hour drying time between coats. I then rubbed on several coats of of thinned out polyurethane. Be sure to sand with very fine sandpaper between coats. In the end you'll have a smooth finish. I did not want a glossy finish because I still wanted somewhat of a rustic look.
Step 11: What I Had Left for Wood at This Point
Here's the pile that I have left to work with. I still have to build my shelf and wine bottle holder. I think I have enough, not much room for mistakes though.
Step 12: Making the Shelf
To make the shelf I drilled out holes for the wine glasses and cut slots to the edge. Again you can use a band saw or even a hand saw to cut these slots. A drill bit just a slight bit larger then your glass stems should be used.
I built a jig for gluing my shelf together. I did this because I plan to make more of these and it holds the edges tight. I used wax paper to prevent the glue from sticking to my jig. You could even use rubber bands, painters tape, or clamps to hold the shelf together while the glue dries. All edges were miter cut at 45 degrees. I made the box to fit two glasses and still fit on the lower section of the heart.
I added a shelf in the middle of this to hold a corkscrew, and corks or bottle stoppers. This also provided additional mounting surface.
Step 13: Making the Wine Bottle Holder
Basically I made the bottle holder just like the ones that are so popular, that stand by themselves. I cut a 45 degree bevel to mount the board to my top shelf. Then I drilled a 1 1/2 inch hole three inches from what will be the top. This is where you insert the wine bottle. When done this would support and hold a bottle by itself. This will be mounted with screws from the back of the heart.
Step 14: Layout, and Mounting
I placed the shelf and bottle holder onto the heart and positioned it. Then I went around the outline with painters tape. This gave me an accurate idea of where to drill my mounting holes. Then it was a matter of mounting the shelf and wine bottle holder. I used wood screws counter sunk from the rear with a small dab of wood glue on the joints. I then mounted a small block on the rear centered with a keyhole for wall mounting. I used wood glue to mount the block. Then I sprayed several light coats of clear lacquer on the whole project.
Step 15: Finished, and It Turned Out Fantastic
Remember we made this from a 2X4 that normally would have ended up on the burn pile. Now we have something that is both decorative and useful. No plans were used to create this project, just an idea. Remember if you attempt this project do it safely and make it fun. Be sure to show us what you made.